“They’ve obviously not listened to any submissions from around here. We’ll continue to push... and see what we can do.”
So said Narrabri Shire Mayor Cathy Redding at the council’s December meeting.
She was speaking as councillors unanimously voted to write to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority review its and other local submissions to the proposed amendments to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and also write to the federal ministers responsible for the plan to ask that the amendments be rejected and sent back for further review.
The council made a submission on the amendments to the plan in February last year.
It was part of the feedback process for the amendments, which also saw a public meeting in Wee Waa and discussions with other interested parties.
However, while the end result was that the MDBA reduced the water recovery target in the Northern Basin from 390 gigalitres to 320GL, the amount required from the Namoi instream catchment doubled, from 10GL to 20GL.
That is at odds with the widely held and strongly expressed view locally that there should be no more cuts to irrigation water.
The council expressed as much in its submission and also called for four other initiatives to be taken into account.